Tag: Chicago Attractions

When the City Opens its Doors: Open House Chicago

When the City Opens its Doors: Open House Chicago

Exploring Chicago is one of the many perks of going to Loyola. But it’s not every weekend that the city gives you an opportunity to go into the buildings you only ever see the outside of. Some friends and I jumped at the opportunity to explore Chicago in an entirely new way when the Chicago Architecture Foundation opened the doors of 150 buildings throughout the city. Most importantly the event was free to the public. You know what Chicago? It doesn’t get much better than that.

If there was enough time in the day I would have loved to go into every building. But my friends and I barely made a dent on the list.

The first building we stopped in was completely on a whim. The Gensler office is on the third floor of the Sullivan Center on Madison Street. This architecture and design firm is one of the largest in the world and they didn’t shy away from beautifully and functionally designing their own office. The most interesting points of the space were definitely the ornate columns that were featured throughout the room.

We made our next stop at Millennium Park on the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Having only experienced the architecture of this stage from the opposite end of the park it was really incredible to get to stand on the stage. To see the perspective of the performers—without the audience or the nerves of course—was pretty surreal.

The view from the office space of RTKL Associates Inc. was one of the best I have ever experienced of the city of Chicago. Another architecture and interior design firm, this office had a very sleek and modern look. The design draws your gaze out the floor to ceiling windows to the sights of the city. You can see everything from the Bean to Soldier Field and all of Chicago’s most popular attractions in between. Not to mention the majesty of the Lake extending beyond the horizon. I could handle a view like that from my desk.

Our last stop was the Oriental Theatre. This was the tour I was most excited for because of my love for Broadway. The building’s intricate interior detailing blew me away. My friends and I sat down in the middle section of seats, titled our heads back, and let the walls and ceiling do the talking. Every time you looked around you noticed something new and different. Elephants, marble columns, griffons, gold detailing, gods, symbols—all inspired by Indian culture. If I ever get to see a show there I would be just as excited to see the stunning interior again.

Three buildings I didn’t visit are ones I see every day because they are all on Loyola’s campus. The Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Mundelein Center, and Piper Hall were all featured on the Open House Chicago tour. All three of these are well worth a visit during your time here. So yeah, you could say our school and our city are pretty darn cool.

Finding Nemo (At Shedd Aquarium)

Finding Nemo (At Shedd Aquarium)

When you’re an out-of-state student, it seems that relatives are always looking to plan visits to see you in Chicago.  Or at least this has been the case for me for the past couple of weeks.  In the few short months I’ve been at school, I’ve had lots of family members make the trip from Cleveland to the Windy City.

One of the great things about Chicago is that there are so many things to do.  Over the weekend, I had my cousins Mike and Carrie come visit with their two little boys.  Connor and Blake are both under the age of two, so I got to work planning activities that the little guys would enjoy.

Connor recently discovered the movie Finding Nemo, so I figured a trip to Shedd Aquarium was a great choice.  So after a quick tour of Loyola’s campus, we headed downtown to check it out.  I think I can speak for the group when I said it was nothing short of AMAZING!

From the ten foot sharks to the tiniest minnows, Shedd hosts a large variety of aquatic animals.  The boys had a ton of fun, but so did the rest of us!  I could have spent the whole day at the dolphin tank, and Connor talked to “Nemo” for a good twenty minutes.  To all those who haven’t taken the trip, I would highly recommend going to check it out!